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Help, We’ve Got Homework!


• When your child asks for help, provide guidance, not answers. Giving answers means your child will not learn the material. Too much help may teach your child that when the going gets rough, someone will do the work for her or for him. Remember that growing independence is one goal of homework.

• If homework is meant to be done by your child alone, you can support from the sidelines. Too much parent involvement can prevent homework from having positive effects. Rather than teaching your child, let the teacher know when your child cannot complete homework that is intended to be done independently. Homework is a great way for kids to develop independent, lifelong learning skills.

• After spending what you think is a reasonable amount of time on homework, call it a night. A note to the teacher is handed in explaining how much time was spent would be helpful. Children should not work on homework past (or near!) their bedtime.

• Be positive about homework. The attitude you express about homework will be the attitude your child acquires.

• Help your child with time management. Help your child to do homework well before bedtime. Think about using a weekend morning or afternoon for working on big projects, especially if the project involves getting together with classmates.

• Make sure your child has a quiet, well-lit place to do homework. Help your child think about what works best for his or her concentration and focus.

• When the teacher asks that you play a role in homework, please find the time to do this. This shows your child that the school and home are a team.

• Help your child figure out what is ‘hard’ homework and what is ‘easy’ homework. This is helpful for time management at home and for teachers to understand each child’s learning style and needs.

• Relate homework to life experiences. Show your child that the skills they are learning are related to things you do in your life. If your child is reading, you can too.

• Stay informed. Talk with your child’s teacher. Make sure you know the purpose of homework and what your child’s teacher’s expectations are.

* Adapted by ICS from the Canadian Council on Learning –
‘Lessons in Learning: Parents’ Role in their Children’s Homework’

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